Once again, John Stossel has posted a winner. (He nearly always does, in my opinion.)
John Stossel: Dead Men Farming
I’m posting it here because it’s very relevant to what I referenced in my last post, “The Ethanol Diet.” Not to mention, it’s something my mom and I talked about just this past weekend.
My dad grew up in Iowa and my parents were living there when I was born. Recently, Mother mentioned to me her surprise at the number of Iowa farmers she encountered — rich ones — who were receiving farm subsidies.
This was back in the 1970s, folks. We’ve been paying farmers to grow, and to not grow, certain crops for more than 30 years.
Now, I acknowledge, we can all see a peculiar “romance” in the idea of the Great American Family Farm: the Heartland warrior who battles the vagaries of nature to feed the nation; this quiet, earnest laborer who tills the soil with the help of his family, praying God will protect his harvest from the ravages of weather, disease and locust swarms.
Unfortunately, this mythic figure is just that: a myth. Those receiving government subsidies do not find that USDA check the only thing standing between themselves and a ruthless auction of their beloved homestead and all their possessions right down to Grannie Beulah’s morning star quilt. Instead, this handout from the USDA (a.k.a. the American Taxpayer) more often bridges the gap between the farmer and, say, a new $45,000 pickup truck or a hot tub for the farmhouse.
Free-Market capitalism does work, America. You should try it sometime.
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